Ulnar nerve entrapment
|Ulnar nerve entrapment|
Commonly, this causes pain, numbness, or paralysis of the ring and little fingers which may extend up the arm. This can be differentiated from carpal tunnel syndrome and radial nerve entrapment in that different fingers are involved.
The ulnar nerve passes through many tunnels and outlets which could cause the nerve to be pinched. Some causes or origins noted could be:
- Problems originating at the neck (thoracic outlet syndrome, disease of the cervical spine)
- Brachial plexus abnormalities
- Elbow abnormalities (fractures, growth plate injuries, cubital tunnel problems, improper use)
- Wrist abnormalities (fractures, Guyon canal problems)
- Artery aneurysms or thrombosis
- Infections, tumors, diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatism, and alcoholism
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the Ulnar nerve is obstructed during its path along the outer edge of the elbow. This compression of the nerve often leads to a tingling or 'pins and needles' sensation in the little and ring fingers (as opposed to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which affects the first, second and third fingers). Most cases will be minor and tend to come and go with time. Common causes are sleeping with the arm folded up, so the hand is at the persons neck. People frequently wake up with in these cases with tingling in the fingers, because the nerve has been pinched or squeezed. Treatment of these types of causes are easy to remedy and can involve simply altering sleeping positions to avoid aggravating the elbow area. In more extreme cases however where tingling is persistent, surgery is an option to move the nerve away from the area.